Кто владеет информацией,
владеет миром

Journeymen of Power

Journeymen of Power
Oleg Sultanov 03.07.2009

I think I will not reveal any secrets asserting that many of my colleagues-journalists in Russia are obedient tool in power hands. They do everything so that population of our country and foreign states think about leaders of Russia as about peaceful and unselfish people who share interests of people.

There are also other workers of mass-media, including the author of today's publication who due to objective reasons - visible to all the world - try not to glorify shape of nonexistent national-capitalist Russia.

"Non-glorifiers" always were suspicious public for government; they don't participate in meetings of opposition, they don't call to overthrow power, they simply publish their thoughts which appear after attentive review of surrounding reality (if, of course, there are still mass-media not afraid of anger of the Kremlin and ready to publish such authors ...).

In the process of smooth ten years' transformation of Russia into a police state (it's my personal opinion) functions of power structures naturally change: "work" of some of them on tracing of activity of "trouble-makers" including "non-glorifiers" became, I believe, one of the basic functions of some departments of special services which, according to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, are out of policy.

Actually the Kremlin, in my opinion, assigns quite certain ideological role to political investigation, using thus frequently blindly some journalists requiring earnings. It is clear that all social music is ordered by those who supervise, more truly, finance TV, radio and printing mass-media. Industrial and financial groups faithful to authorities are those whose money talks in our country, their heads by simple raising of eyebrows can ennoble, make rich the newsman or to send some rebellious journalist for ten years to edit fighting leaflet published in some prison in Mordovia.

At the same time without us, employees of mass-media power cannot exist; let's imagine that activity of all channels of TV and radio, release of newspapers and magazines is stopped, Internet disappears for a week in the country. Inhabitants of the Kremlin, members of the government will run into a stupor for they will lose possibility to export to society information about their formidable activity for the public good due to which a country top, I think, don't feel miserable financially.

But not this abstract situation but almost full real control over media space of Russia generated in the higher spheres of the state certain theory of impunity, in conformity with which all arsenal of the doctrine of "sovereign democracy" can be used against free journalism. It's not a secret that this arsenal is in hands of political investigators who owing to the need of service aspire to enter into confidential contact with many Russian journalists.

I do not condemn colleagues who decided to live leaning against epaulets of special service; here, as they say, everyone to his trade. But it is disgusting when the journalist allows to use himself as disposable rubber means for pregnancy prevention. Somehow I was contacted by one known in the country journalist hosting the program on TV who suggested to participate in one interesting project ostensibly connected with my departure to some far foreign country. I was taken in but soon felt that this "notoriety" was interested in visas in my passport. It is clear that he was asked to do it, I even can guess who asked.

Other, not less known TV reporter also tried under pretext of carrying out of artlessly motivated poll to find out whether I had open visa to Great Britain; it seems, "phantom" of long time silent B.Berezovsky still makes somebody disquiet.

... Not once or twice, more often familiar and unfamiliar people asking me, the journalist, to prepare newspaper publications on sensitive themes appeared in my life. Thus they offered to take from them almost secret documents proving rightness of the applicant; the documents carefully packed into polyethylene double files. When I tried to open those files directly at a meeting applicants scaredly objected: "It's not necessary to do it now, you'll open them at home!" They were opened not at home but in chemical laboratory and not by me  by my friend-expert. His resume was unequivocal: "Well, journalism is really a dangerous trade ...".

However, I will not go into disgusting details, which not every newsman could foresee. It's easier to me - I'm former officer of law-enforcement structures who was professionally engaged in operative work. But at my time ("stagnation" in the USSR) the edge of that work was directed only against criminals and real public enemies; it's possible that journalists were under the supervision but it was done not so clumsily as now. Details of that carefully-impressive probing I officially brought to the attention of the head of one of the Russian special services. Instead of being thanked I received traditional "facts have not been proved to be true ...".

When I got familiarized with such answer, for some reason I recollected a joke which I would result to finish today's sad material: "Journalist N known for exposing of higher ranks of the state by publications was shot in the entrance of his house in Moscow. Law enforcement bodies and special services have only one version of this contract murder - extraordinary heat which was established one of these days on Madagascar".

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